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DPRK searches for missing Chinese fishing vessel: Chinese embassy

Updated: Oct 1,2014 9:10 PM     Xinhua

PYONGYANG - The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has launched search and rescue operations to help find a Chinese fishing vessel which sank in waters bordering Japan and the DPRK on Sept 30, according to the Chinese embassy in the DPRK.

The Chinese Consulate General in Osaka confirmed on Oct 1 that a Chinese fishing vessel had sunken about 390 kilometers north of Oki Island in Japan’s Shimane Prefecture and the specific conditions of the crew on board are still under verification.

As the sea area where the vessel vanished was close to the waters near the DPRK, there are chances that the crew members might have drifted onto the DPRK seas, the consulate general said.

The Chinese embassy in the DPRK on Oct 1 also notified the DPRK of the situation and asked for search and rescue effort.

The DPRK said it has sent rescue forces to possible sea areas in search of the missing vessel and will immediately notify Chinese authorities as soon as the Chinese crew are spotted.

A 238-ton Chinese vessel -- “LURONGYU2859” -- sank in northern waters off Shimane Prefecture around 8 o’clock local time on Sept 30, with five people on board saved and another nine people still unaccounted for, according to Japan’s Kyoto News.

The Japanese coast guard had deployed a patrol boat to the scene after receiving information from the Chinese side.